Goshen County Commissioners ratify Emergency Declaration for Lingle flooding

Logan Dailey/Lingle Guide The Pathfinder Canal west of Lingle is once again flowing as of Thursday, July 7 at noon, after a breach in the canal caused destructive flooding in the area west of Lingle on July 1.

GOSHEN COUNTY – Goshen County Commissioners voted to ratify, legally accept and declare, an emergency declaration for the town of Lingle due to its recent flooding so that Homeland Security could continue to aid in cleanup and disaster relief; and potentially asking for further aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) if need be, later on.

Pursuit of federal, Wyoming and Goshen County laws, Commissioner Chairman John Ellis and Commissioner Justin Burkart voted to ratify, or approve, the Goshen County Emergency Declaration for the Lingle Flooding on Tuesday. Commissioner Cody Cox was not in attendance, but the board noted his support when approving the ratification.

The declaration states:

WHEREAS, Goshen County has suffered from a flood that has occurred on July 1, 2022 from a breach of the Interstate Canal and continues,

WHEREAS, extensive damage has been caused to public and private property, disruption of utility service, and endangerment of health and safety of the residents of Goshen County within the disaster area,

WHEREAS, all locally available public and private resources available to mitigate and alleviate the effects of this disaster have been insufficient to meet the needs of the situation,

WHEREAS, the current conditions around the county may continue to produce significant flooding with the possibility of continued rain along with progressive runoff and could potentially present additional flooding conditions from the canal breach in the county,

Therefore, the Chair of the Goshen County Commission has declared a state of emergency on behalf of Goshen County and will execute for and on behalf of Goshen County, the expenditure of emergency funds from all available sources, the invoking of mutual aid agreements, and the requesting of assistance from the state.

Goshen County initially declared a state of emergency on July 1, shortly after the flooding began.

Several residents were affected by this flooding, including Dan Niles and his daughter, of which First State Bank in Torrington established an account for the family who lost everything in the flood. For more information visit the Torrington Telegram Facebook page or by contacting the bank at (307) 532-5600, or by visiting the bank at 1410 East Valley Rd., Torrington.

Just after 4 p.m. on Friday, July 1, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon activated the National Guard to assist with the flooding in Lingle.

“I want to thank our state agencies for their quick response to this concerning situation and I praise them for their hard work and dedication to help minimize the impact on our citizens and communities there,” Gordon stated in a press release.

“Thanks to the quick and competent response from our state agencies, including the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security and the State Engineer’s Office, we are able to rapidly respond to the situation,” Gordon added.

“At my request, Secretary of State (Edward) Buchanan (was) on the ground to personally survey the scope of the damage and to ascertain what resources are needed to help the citizens of Goshen County,” Gordon explained. “Secretary Buchanan has reported the local folks are working together to sandbag the canal – as I have said many times before, I am proud of our Wyoming people who do what they do best – helping neighbors.”

Gordon also stated Wyoming was in contact with and working with Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts due to the close partnership of the canal between Wyoming and Nebraska.

Gordon’s activation of the Wyoming National Guard sent manpower to place 1,000-pound sandbanks in the breach and the Laramie County Fire Authority assisted the state with transporting the sandbags.

According to Goshen County Commissioner Burkart, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office and other county officials are managing the crisis in-state and have not yet asked for help from FEMA. Water was diverted at the Whalen Diversion Dam and several parts of Lingle were evacuated. County commissioners asked county emergency management crews if they could begin reporting estimated costs to present at the next commissioners meeting on July 19, at 9 a.m.

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